Pancreas Disease Specialist

GI Consultants

Bhavin Dave, MD

Gastroenterology located in Dover, DE

Pancreas disease, including pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, can cause serious health problems, such as Type 2 diabetes. But if you get diagnosis and treatment for pancreas disease early enough, you can recover and enjoy full health again. Use online scheduling or call Bhavin Dave, MD, at GI Consultants in Dover, Delaware, for help with pancreas disease today.

Pancreas Disease Q & A

What is pancreas disease?

Pancreas disease is a condition that affects your pancreas, the small gland that helps with food breakdown. Your pancreas also makes insulin, which regulates your blood glucose level. 

If your pancreas is inflamed or otherwise damaged, it can cause serious health problems. Pancreatic diseases include both pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is a disease in which your pancreas is inflamed. Pancreatitis occurs when your body's digestive enzymes digest and destroy your pancreas. There are several types of pancreatitis, including acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, and hereditary pancreatitis. 

This disease typically causes abdominal pain, diarrhea, and unintended weight loss over time. Late-stage pancreatitis can lead to Type 2 diabetes. Alcohol consumption is a common cause of pancreatitis, but in some cases, no cause is known. 

Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer usually doesn’t cause symptoms in its early stages, although sometimes yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice) can occur. 

As the disease progresses to advanced stages, pancreatic cancer can cause upper abdominal pain that moves down your spine, unintended weight loss, chronic exhaustion, and Type 2 diabetes.

Another disease that’s classified as a genetic disorder, cystic fibrosis, can cause pancreas problems due to blocked tubes within the pancreas.

How is pancreas disease treated?

Initial treatment may include medication for pain, IV fluids for rehydration, and fasting for a couple of days under supervision. 

Dietary changes and supplemental enzymes might also help with pancreas disease. If you drink alcohol, it’s important that you stop as soon as possible, with the help of substance abuse treatment if necessary.

Depending on your symptoms and needs, you might need surgery for pancreas disease. For pancreatic cancer, surgery like total pancreatectomy to remove the entire pancreas or distal pancreatectomy to remove a portion of the pancreas can be quite effective. You can live without a pancreas, but some adjustments, like using insulin, are needed.

How can I prevent pancreas disease?

Although there’s no guaranteed way to prevent pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, you can take action to reduce your risk factors with help from your gastroenterologist at GI Consultants. Some lifestyle changes that your gastroenterologist may recommend include:

  • Lose extra weight
  • Stop smoking
  • Stay hydrated
  • Eat a low-fat diet

Talk to your GI Consultants gastroenterologist about how you can prevent pancreas disease. 

For help with pancreas disease prevention, diagnosis, management, and treatment, call GI Consultants or use online scheduling tool today.